Questioning the questions. –Robert M. Shelby, 4-20-11/rev. 5-5-11.  [1242 txt wds]

YouTube carries a terrifying amount of nearly apocalyptic conspiracy exposés of such scope and length of temporal development and projected future effects as to feed anyone’s paranoid delusions — terrifying, that is, if you don’t know how easily some people spin up bad dreams for selected audiences of folks peculiarly vulnerable. Putative schemes ‘exposing’ fraudulent United Nations’ climate threats are projected back to the early 1960s and forward to fruition tomorrow, usually portrayed as conducive to monolithic globalism under police-state repression with injustice to property-holding people. Case in point, the long-standing Council on Foreign Relations is often painted as dangerously nefarious, yet evidence seems slender that it does more than carry on group study, discussion, lecturing and advisement. What covert “black-ops” has it committed? Compare it with endless effort by the Heritage Foundation and other so-called “think tanks” to foist far-right influence by subtle brain-washing of the U. S. public to gain the goals of upper-class warfare against middle and lower classes.

It can be posited of Agitation Theory that those who would drive the public have only to stir doubt and fear until people’s awareness, so to speak, “bursts open like popcorn.” They are then hyper-suggestible and will accept many a current craziness as real and be ready to act out its premises in accord with crowd behavior and mob psychology. Just let them see a mass movment happening and they will be swept away like speech-excited Germans heiling Hitler and running through streets smashing shop-windows of Jewish businesses. Naturally, we Americans could never be brought to unruliness or to such loss of self-identity and personal control as to — vote — against — ourselves.

It is now widely understood that the formation and implied framing of questions bear strongly on determining how people answer them. Recently we saw newspaper lists of questions supposedly aiming to let readers self-score themselves as highly  or moderately conservative or liberal, assuming that “liberal” and “conservative,” as terms, are still more valid than vague. But, the trouble with many questionaires is that their questions are too unrefined to capture truth beyond the tendentious purposes of those who form the questions within framings that tilt the result by preventing carefully qualified response. This has always been the trouble with statistical studies in sociology or political polling, i.e., the results cannot rise above whatever accuracy is allowed by the design itself, whether deliberately or inadvertently set by the designer to ensnare responders in ambiguity or error instead eliciting plain, full honesty. In short, “Garbage in, garbage out.” Here are a few questions refocused and expanded:

1-a. We should honor and respect traditional marriage for its vital effects on society.

1-b. We should dishonor and disrespect mutual commitment unto marriage between lesbian or gay couples due to their negative effect on the feelings of prejudiced people.

2-a. I trust political and military leaders to do what seems expedient at the time but seldom everything that may seem desirable and consistent to some.

2-b. Our leaders need never concern themselves with our effect on other nations or with how other peoples view our actions.

3-a. The few who illegally receive welfare support by fraud should be heavily punished.

3-b. We should allocate enough money to assure that unpunished fraud cannot happen.

4-a. Fox News offers a good alternative to counter the liberal bias of MSNBC and the carefully balanced reportage of C-span and PBS.

4-b. Fox Commentary never shows unbalanced favor to Far-right opinion or persons.

5-b. Capitalism’s efficacy in producing and distributing goods and services for our society has never shown disbalance or distortion in operation nor proven illusory, as in fact an unreal, utopian dream foisted by those most engaged in and aided by it.

5-b. Human nature, as now expressed through its lowest denominators in Western Culture, determines that Free Enterprise left to its own devices is self-destructive, world destructive and requires careful supervision and regulation.

6-a. Our health care non-system provided top quality care to very well-off Americans. Recently legislated changes are inefficient and take us in the wrong direction.

6-b. Single-payer national defense of property is right but single-payer national defense of everyone’s health is wrong. We can support war against external enemies but never against enemies inside or around our individual bodies. It might make people with lots of money imagine income is too private to be taxed for the public good. We can’t be sociable.

7-a. Public funds for abortion take unfair taxes. Rich women can abort when they will.

7-b. Poor women must give birth and rear children no matter how bad their situations may become.

8-a. U.S. military protects our freedoms and interests everywhere, but it takes unequal sacrifice and support from our people. Not all our people share the benefits of such protection with big corporations and the holders of vast property.

8-b. Defense is so important that each and every citizen should serve two years enlisted duty in an armed or public service before ever seeking qualification as an officer or elite specialist.

9-a. Nobody should need labor unions anymore. Corporate management especially is now so enlightened and fairly favoring of “the little guy” that we can trust it fully.

9-b. Union labor is so expensive we don’t need it. Workers should face employers with no help from each other or expert negotiators, grievance arbitrators or defense lawyers.

10-a. Liberal measures are detrimental to high society which wants no limit to its height or to the difficulty of “climbing ladders” to get up there from scratch.

10-b. “Backwardites” posing as “conservatives” view much environmentalism, public housing, libraries and national preserves as extremely bad for wealthy tax-payers whether they or their corporations actually pay any taxes or not.

11-a. Parents with uncertain education and mixed results need to take over education.

11-b. Vouchers that privatize education to evade uniform standards and problems of social neglect on infrastructure and teacher quality are good for America’s future.

12-a. I am smart enough to see through all the rhetoric and know what’s right or wrong.

12-b. My personal interest and class-identity equip me to govern all even if I’m deluded.

13-a. Americans are limited in learning Obama’s background only by lack of initiative.

13-b. Obama has been foisted on us by conspiratorial designs of fascistic globalists.

14-a. Climate change is overstated and unimportant so we need take no action.

14-b. Scientists are dishonest and unprofessional, their number and findings irrelevant.

15-a. America’s national reputation for goodness and compassion is as well-established outside our country as is our business reputation for egregiously rapacious conduct.

15-b. Only extremist anti-patriots claim our invasions of other countries serve ourselves (that is, those few who profit from them.)

16-a. Dictatorial rulers never do their countries any real or lasting good.

16-b. Everyone in Cuba or Venezuela is either brainwashed or unhappy.

17-a. Israel can be trusted to serve our interests in the Near East before their own.

17-b. All Israelis wish to eliminate Palestinian Arabs and take over the whole land.

18-a. The vast number of Europeans who sought opportunity by coming here assures me that America is better than any place in Europe where bad conditions in past times made people emigrate here.

18-b. Nobody in the U.S. will want to go somewhere else if things get worse.

19-a. Success is never a matter of subjective definition or perception.

19-b. The caged rat with no escape succeeds by going to sleep, dreaming food & water.

These should be enough to expose the tilted framing of some questions you have seen.


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